After sending my guitar home a couple of months ago I got into the habit of walking to Guitar Center whenever I feel like playing. It’s a pleasant walk, taking about 30 minutes across the Boston University campus and into Fenway. And I find myself taking it about three or four times a month. The last time I was making my way over though I saw someone nearly get hit by a bus while crossing the street. While attempting to cross, this girl looked back to discover that her friends had waited for the light and she was torn on whether to walk back to her friends are continue to the opposite sidewalk. Fortunately she made a decision before being taken down by the honking bus, but after thinking about what I had seen I came up with this maxim.
“Those who fail to pick a side are more often those who get hit”
Duh – right? Personally I don’t really find this to be anything inspirational or well-worded; however, know that little does this have to do with crossing the street.
Where I find this maxim applicable is when it’s thought of in relation to our society’s tendency to look negatively upon judgement and encouraging open-mindedness to what – I find to be – a fault. In our culture it’s popular for children, teens, and adults alike to oppose taking too strong of a position on any specific matter in order to ensure that they are least likely to offend others or appear arrogant themselves. However, similar to the “pick a side” maxim, it is more often the lack of an opinion, side, or position that can put a person in harms way than the embracing of one.
Another way that this can be thought of is that a boat idling in a storm is more likely to be sunk than one that is being propelled in a specific direction. And there are many other analogies that exemplify how have a direction or standpoint is more beneficial than not – but two is probably enough.
I know this probably boring, but I find there to be a provoking question in it. The question being, “is full commitment to a side, direction, or belief more or less effective in pursuing a successful life than being open-minded and nonjudgmental.” Of course, “success” is a widely debated term, but since this question is one that should be answered on a personal level it is appropriate to use your own definition.
In my own experience, I’ve often found myself committing to strong opinions and beliefs while at the same time being very open minded towards experiences – resulting in me having been hit by a lot of buses in my life… While I know people who are living lives I envy on both sides of the road, I’ve yet to find which one is most suitable for me. Therefore, I will continue dodging cars and being hit by buses until I figure it out.
There is no right answer; ironic.